It’s Cape time again. Cape time! Usually we get here earlier in the season, but it’s kind of nice to start when it actually feels like summer.

We’re attempting once again to simplify dinners. Less food, fewer dishes, less waste, less cleanup, less work… more relaxing! I’m pretty sure I said the same thing at the beginning of last summer, so we’ll see how it goes, but so far so good.

Friday’s dinner (not pictured) was grilled chicken—which Rose claimed was as good as the chicken they serve at school—with potatoes and super-fat, ultra-tasty asparagus grown by the Drews.

On Saturday we ate from the sea. Drew cooked up some black sea bass and stripers that he’d caught, which we had with rice and an assortment of vegetables.

Sunday was the picture of “New Cape Simple.” Fresh-dug clams, which my mom—somehow on her walker—turned into spaghetti alla vongole. For the non-clam eaters, a double-batch of Marcella’s famous sauce, which disappeared even more quickly than the clams. And a very simple salad with avocado, tomato, lime and spinach.

There was nearly a crisis when we thought we might run out of salad, but we didn’t. Clean-up was minimal, we didn’t even fill the dishwasher. And there were practically no leftovers!

Something else we learned late last summer, and are trying to carry through to this year, is that sometimes a sit-down dinner is not the best thing when you’ve got a lot of kids around. On Saturday, we put the two toddlers at the coffee table with dinner and some toys while the rest of us ate at the big table. I think they ate more than if they’d been sitting at the table with us.

On Sunday we had upwards of 20 people, so we served dinner buffet-style and folks just got a plate and ate wherever. It was so much easier, no counting of place settings and somehow still ending up with not enough seats, no herding of young boys who really don’t want to sit down anyhow, no need for multiple serving dishes, no extra tables and chairs. More relaxing!

Wishing everyone a very happy, and very relaxing summer.


Another last supper

Tonight is our last night in our new, old, new, temporary, one-day-forever home. We’re moving tomorrow. It’s also our anniversary.

There’s nothing like packing all day on your anniversary, while you have the horrible virus from hell, and a 2 year old who also has the horrible virus from hell, and who falls apart (with real tears) every time he sees you putting something in a box.

But, we made it through and my folks sent over a nice sushi dinner and a bottle of bubbly to celebrate.

We ate dinner on the living room-slash-bedroom floor, with our hands and a couple of pieces of newsprint as a picnic blanket. We drank champagne out of jars. The kids gave us a 5 minute head start. “Go ahead and start without us, we’ll be in the bathroom for a while” said Rose. It was super romantic.

We’re moving into a teeny, dark, basement apartment for 6 or 9 or maybe-but-hopefully-not 12 months, while we turn my parents house into a totally awesome, for-reals, two-family home. I’m a lot worried about the lack of natural light, but ultimately it’s going to be amazing.

The movers arrive in 9 hours. Eyes on the prize. Good night!

Tortilla soup and tasty muffins

We are in the process of moving. It was only practical for Mother’s Day dinner to not be anything particularly elaborate.

My dad suggested we pull some meat out of the freezer in the basement and have a roast. I responded by playing my vegetarian card, which is something I almost never do.

More precisely, I said: I don’t want a stupid roast for dinner, it’s Mother’s Day!

So Shane made a delicious tortilla soup and a side of beans. This made my mom and I very happy.

Rose found the soup too spicy but happily devoured 4 servings of beans. Sid ate sprigs of cilantro dipped in salty water because that’s what he learned to do at Passover a few weeks ago.

For dessert we had tasty muffins, which is what Sid called the cupcakes he and Shane got me from Sweet, the bakeshop next to Wegmans.

Happy Mother’s Day y’all.

Big changes mean carbo-loading, apparently

I haven’t been posting lately because a while ago, my light got put away, and it never came back out because things are a mess around here. Because we’re moving. All 8 of us.

You may recall that Shane, the kids and I moved in with my parents a while back, and then my sister and brother-in-law moved in too. It’s been a big, chaotic, happy family time. We’ve all enjoyed each other, gotten to know each other’s quirks a bit more, and my kids have come to know, love and depend on their immediate family in an invaluable way.

But now we’re moving on to the next phase in our lives.

My sister and brother-in-law are moving to a home of their own, to get started on their life as newlyweds. My parents and Shane, the kids and I are moving to separate temporary homes while we literally tear the roof off this big old house and turn it into a proper two-family forever home.

Also, my 73 year old mom broke her leg and Rose had her gymnastics State Championships this weekend. If there’s a better reason for carbo-loading, I don’t know what it is (ok, marathons maybe, but whatevs).

The last two nights there’s been enough remaining daylight to document dinner. I present you with Shane’s famous carbonara and mini grilled cheeses on baguette slices, with ham for those who like that kind of thing. And, of course, extra bread and delicious salads.

More soon. Miss you guys. xoxox